When it comes to Australian wine regions, McLaren Vale stands out for its exceptional wines and beautiful vineyards. Located just a short drive from Adelaide, it’s a must-visit for any wine enthusiast.
One of the best things about a trip to McLaren Vale is its proximity to other renowned wine regions such as the Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley. I’d personally recommend flying into Adelaide for a few nights, and visiting a few of the regions—they’re all spectacular.
With over 70 wineries, you’re spoilt for choice in McLaren Vale—the hardest decision you’ll make is which Cellar Doors to visit for a wine tasting. So, whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a novice looking to expand your palate, here are the 10 best wineries in McLaren Vale.
The 10 Best Cellar Doors in McLaren Vale
From my visits to McLaren Vale’s wineries, I’ve selected 10 recommendations. Each winery offers its own unique atmosphere, from stunning views to delicious cheese boards.
For those who appreciate brevity, here’s a TL;DR. For a more detailed version, scroll down to the section below:
- Coriole – Known for its sustainable practices and beautiful setting.
- D’Arenberg – Offers a wide array of reds and whites in a unique setting.
- Samuel’s Gorge – Offers a show-stopping view from its cellar door.
- Beresford – Known for its modernist tasting pavilion and lush wines.
- Chapel Hill – Known for its sustainable winemaking and brilliant wines.
- Wirra Wirra Wines – Known for its popular allrounder Church Block.
- S.C. Pannell – Known for its ambitions beyond just McLaren Vale.
- Foggo Wines – Offers small-batch wines that are rich and full-bodied.
- Mitolo Wines – Known for its mod-industrial pavilion.
- Hugh Hamilton – Known for its circular hilltop eyrie and fun wine names.
What Wine is McLaren Vale best known for?
The region’s warm climate and diverse soils make it ideal for growing a range of grape varieties, resulting in a diverse selection of high-quality wines.
McLaren Vale is best known for producing a variety of wine styles, including Shiraz, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Shiraz – McLaren Vale Shiraz is known for its rich, full-bodied, and fruit-forward style, with spicy and berry flavours and good acidity, making it a balanced and satisfying wine.
- Grenache – McLaren Vale Grenache typically has a deep colour, rich and full-bodied flavour profile, strong tannin structure, and high complexity, with bright fruit flavours of red fruit and floral notes.
- Cabernet Sauvignon – McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its rich and complexflavour profile, with crisp acidity and full body, intense fruit flavours of plum, blackberry, and hints of leather and spice, and a balanced oak influence.
The 10 Best Wineries in McLaren Vale
McLaren Vale, one of Australia’s most famous wine regions, is home to some of the country’s most exciting wineries, offering a diverse range of warm-climate wines. Here, we explore some of the best wineries in McLaren Vale that you should consider for your next wine-tasting adventure.
Known for its sustainable practices, Coriole offers a definitive McLaren Vale experience. The winery is set in a photogenic 1850s stone farmhouse and is surrounded by mature vines. It’s also known for its restaurant, Gather, which uses vegetables and herbs grown on-site.
This winery is an essential McLaren Vale experience, thanks to the d’Arenberg Cube. The winery offers a dizzying array of reds and whites, with the Dead Arm shiraz and Broken Fishplate sauvignon blanc being perennial favourites.
3. Samuel’s Gorge
This winery offers a show-stopping view from its cellar door. Occupying a picture-perfect 1853 stone farm shed, Samuel’s Gorge winery is known for its handmade and unpretentious vibe.
Located in McLaren Vale’s slightly higher, slightly cooler Blewitt Springs subregion, Beresford is known for its modernist, angular tasting pavilion. The winery offers lush grenache, shiraz, cab sav and chardonnay.
5. Chapel Hill
This winery honours its lofty position with lofty standards when it comes to sustainable winemaking. Chapel Hill is known for its brilliant pinot gris, vermentino, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, zinfandel, and of course, shiraz.
6. Wirra Wirra Wines
One of McLaren Vale’s most widely recognised wines, Wirra Wirra’s eternally popular allrounder Church Block, is a blend of merlot, shiraz, and cab sav.
7. S.C. Pannell
This winery is known for its ambitions beyond just McLaren Vale, doing good things with grapes from as far afield as Langhorne Creek and the Adelaide Hills. This means some excellent cool-climate wines also receive Steve’s loving attention.
8. Foggo Wines
Known for its crafty, unaffected and handmade vibes, Foggo Wines offers small-batch wines that are rich and full-bodied.
9. Mitolo Wines
This winery is known for its mod-industrial pavilion linking a series of charcoal-grey steel shipping containers with expansive glass walls and timber decks. Mitolo Wines offers a unique tasting experience.
10. Hugh Hamilton
Known for its circular hilltop eyrie that opens-out to impressive 270º views across the Hugh Hamilton estate, this winery is also known for its fun wine names like the Trickster, the Black Sheep, the Strutter, the Mongrel, the Intruder, the Ratbag, the Villain.
Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a novice looking to expand your palate, McLaren Vale offers a wealth of wineries to explore. From award-winning Shiraz to unique warm-climate varieties, there’s something for every wine lover in this region.